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When Google announced the launch of its new mobile-friendly ranking signal last year, many believed the impact would be devastating for businesses yet to develop a solid mobile presence. Eight months down the line, Smashing Magazine has conducted a study into the impact of “mobilegeddon” – measuring the proportions of its development.

As anticipated, site owners have responded to Google’s changes with urgency and approached the situation in a number of different ways.

  • 25% of websites surveyed without a mobile site variant in April 2015 have since gone on to implement some form of mobile optimisation. Of these, 85% have used responsive design to aid their mobile transition.
  • Another 11% chose adaptive (using the same URL regardless of device, but generating HTML code dynamically by detecting the browser’s user agent), whilst only 4% plumped for a separate web address for their mobile version.
  • E-commerce webmasters were the quickest to adapt to the change – 31% of e-commerce websites that didn’t have any mobile footprint have turned their attention toward the mobile experience for their on-the-go users.

Trends are clear and the number of non-mobile websites is expected to decrease dramatically as we progress through 2016.

However, three in every ten sites remain oblivious to Google’s mobile-friendly ranking signal, and this needs to change if it is to have the impact Google desires.

When taking into consideration the concerted effort for a more efficient web, it is worth mentioning that the average PageSpeed Insights score has increased by 3% – meaning that sites are now better optimised.

This number alone is not enough to conclude that mobile sites are now faster. However, before the signal’s launch, only 17% of websites had a PSI score greater than 60. After launch, this percentage grew to 22%.

It is also interesting to see that scroll height ratio has increased by 17% in the last eight months, which means that mobile sites are that little bit taller than they were in 2015.

It seems clear that the main priority for businesses at this point is to have a mobile web presence, regardless of its configuration.

Responsive design is the big winner, and will most likely continue to sweep the board as site owners seek reputable mobile experiences.

The mobile web has room for growth when it comes to strategies, user experience and conversions, but it’s not far off.

We are Connect – the original web development agency. We have been providing best-in-class web, data and development services to public and private sector clients since 1994.

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